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Poor & General Living

A sad story brought to our attention by one of our fellow historians.
Willie Lund & Jimmy Hardy

Willie Lund & Jimmy Hardy lived at cellar dwelling  No 53 Damside

The first episode. 
The photographs  depict one of the more shameful episodes in post war Keighley social history. The two men walking through the rubble amongst the part demolished Damside properties are Willie Lund & Jimmy Hardy. They occupied the cellar dwelling at No 53 Damside surviving there in 1958 on a joint income of £2.6.6d. (£2.32½d) per week. One of them, Willie Lund was offered a single occupancy flat as replacement at an unaffordable rental suggested to be more per week than his income. The other person, Jimmy Hardy, was offered nothing! 
They were in no position to accept & had to refuse the offer. They were offered nothing else & had to remain despite adjacent properties at each side and above being demolished around them. The Corporation ordered the roof of the property above them to be demolished as well as having the gas water & electricity disconnected. 

The stand off lasted a few weeks until 11 September 1958 when workmen armed with picks informed the couple they would demolish the property the following day regardless of whether they were in residence or not, they smashed all the windows & front door. 
They left that evening with their belongings piled on an hand cart moving a short distance to Farrars yard where they took up residence in another condemned property scheduled for demolition some months later. Keighley Corporation by this time were refusing to have anything more to do with the men an attitude supported in the leading article of the Kly News 13 September 1958.
Second Episode & Sequel 
Unfortunately for Willie & Jimmy their period of respite following their voluntary removal from Damside to the dereliction of Farrars Yard did not last as long as they had hoped. Demolition commenced there not long after they had moved into a ground floor room of the condemned house they occupied. 
The roof of the house was removed on the afternoon of Thursday 16th October 1958 leaving just a plasterboard ceiling between them selves & the elements. The chimney was also damaged meaning they couldn't have a fire - none of the standard utilities were available. They were unceremoniously informed that the rest of the house would be pulled down the following day regardless of them being inside or not. They stayed put, the demolition crew deciding instead to concentrate on removing the shells of adjoining properties. 
Their official status was now 'squatters' as they were not the lawful tenants of their makeshift home. 
On the following Tuesday the Borough Medical Officer of Health intervened following representation from the Mayor (Ald John Binns) and the two men were removed to St Johns Hospital which we understand at that time did provide a limited in-patient geriatric facility. In hindsight it does seem strange that this wasn't either offered or accepted at the outset.

Founded in May 1907 as Keighley Town Mission to the Sick and Needy at 1, Rook Street (opposite Eagle street off Highfield lane now Rosemount Walk Flats) then the home of Miss Haigh. Miss Agnes Clough, Mrs Craven Laycock and Miss Haigh started weekly meetings for the blind in 1 Rook Street. 1910 The group moved to 13 Scott Street, Keighley which was rented from Mr. Wilson Bailey.

New Mansions Lodging House, Turkey Street, 

Edward Roberts threw an outdoor dance in May of 1937 which attracted upwards of 3,000.

2nd image shows inmates at the New Model Lodging House

22nd Dec 1888 Sudden death of Harry Unsworth in the Model Lodging House

Lodging House, Leeds Street
Proprietor Edward Roberts, he later ran the New Mansions Lodging House in the former baptist chapel in Turkey Street

Single beds for eightpence a night.

Most of the lodging houses must have been miserable places,  John Milligan, the Union surgeon said he had entered rooms where vermin would drop onto his hat from the ceiling like peas. When visiting lodging houses he would wear black trousers so that he would be able to see the lice and remove them.

In 1851 Sarah Hey is running a small lodging house in Wellington Street. The same year Sarah Ann Binns ran a small lodging house at number 27 Paradise. (Heys Gardens) 

1867 Keighley had nine registerd common lodging houses.
he Brickhouse lodging house had a  reputation for being a brothel.
In 1866, the visiting Local Keighley Board of Health surprised a seventy-year-old married lodging-house master in bed with a teenage girl, while her unconcerned mother lay next to them. Above the door of one Keighley brothel and tramp quarters, a motto earnestly advised the reader to 'Study to be quiet, and mind your own business, and work with your own hands'. Hanging on the wall of a prostitute's room in another local house of low repute run by a nameless 'cunning female', was a picture of Our Lord on the cross.

Mary Bettison (d. 1928) by will provided for the foundation in Keighley (Yorks. W.R.) of a home for ladies. The residuary estate was, however, inadequate and by a court Scheme of 1938 a charity was established to benefit, in equal shares, the Boyd home for gentlewomen, Beverley, and two other homes; the endowment then comprised £5,329 stock and £480 cash. 
From: 'Charities', A History of the County of York East Riding: Volume 6: The borough and liberties of Beverley (1989), pp. 261-270. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=36452&strquery=keighley

Children's Homes:
Two houses in Clarendon Street were used for boys, numbers 18 and 30.
Keighley Guardian Children's Home Nashville Road opened March 6th 1906 

Strays buried at Utley cemetery, Keighley, West Yorks archiver.rootsweb.com

Life under the Poor Law by Edith Booth,  55 Beck Street, Keighley boltonrevisited.org.uk

C.W. Craven, 1887
"My impression of the general treatment of vagrants is that the system is much too severe. Making every allowance for the shortcomings of the class constituting them, I am of opinion that the lowest of mankind deserve better treatment than that accorded to pigs, dogs, and other animals of creation. The food furnished was scarcely fit for these last mentioned, whilst about the harsh treatment the less said the better. It is a disgrace to any civilized country".

The account related by Craven is pretty much exactley the same wording used by Greenwood in his account.

A Night in a Workhouse. By James Greenwood. 1866 Not Keighley, but shows us what life would have been like if one needed to use the workhouse. 

The old school house at Exley Head was taken to be used to house the poor:
The lower Free School, or, as it is sometimes called, the Usher School, was founded by Mr. Jonas Tonson, and first built at Exleyhead, on the site now occupied by the parish workhouse. But it appears at a vestry meeting, held June 30th, 1739, it was agreed to take the old school-house, at Exleyhead, for the use of the poor, at the yearly rent of forty shillings, which agreement, or resolution, was sanctioned by the names of the following parishioners :— John Moorhouse. John Sharpe. David Brigg. William Clapham. John Roper. Robert Sugden. Joseph Wright. John Binns. James Greenwood. Richard Pighells. Richard Rawling. Richard Moore. William Hartley. William Paget.

School House: We think that these people have been listed as being at the school house instead of being at the workhouse. 
Joseph Ramsden 1758-1770
John Holdsworth 1775
John Hodgson 1776
William Hodgson 1777
Joseph Crossley 1784
Thomas Clapham 1785
John Clapham 1785 (We are not aware of any connection to the above Thomas)
David Robinson 1791

The below are just some of the people who died in Keighley Workshouse, it is by no means a comprehensive list, just ones we hae noted will browsing the Parish Records.

Hannah Gelder died in the workhouse Jan 1784 aged 61 Mary Midgley died in the workhouse Mar 1812 aged 91
Mary Tindal Mar 1 William Newsholme Apr 30
Thomas Tindal Apr 4 Isaac Hutchinson May 84
John Slater Jun 33 James Hanson Nov 10
Nancy Hanson Aug 1 Betty Lee Jan 1813 70
James Bentley Dec 5 Jonathan Roberts 75
James Parker Feb 2
James Bentley Dec 6 Richard Holroyd Feb 80
Midgley Wright Jan 1785 70 William Calverly Mar 67
Betty Halstead Feb 60 Sarah Holmes Apr 1814 20
Abraham Foster Mar 85 Jemima Midgley 40
Molly Midgley May 1 Joesph Heaton Jun 22
John Hey Mar 1786 60 Jacob Holmes Nov 60
Joseph Knight Aug William Hey 76
William Wilkinson Feb 43 Francis ???den Jan 1815 74
Joseph Stell 47 David Holmes Mar 1
Henry Dixon 69 John Hartley Apr 68
Betty Driver 45 Elizabeth Denby Dec 70
Jonathan Widdop 64 Michael Yudale April 1816 57
Anne Herd Mar 50 Anne Bentley July 35
Daniel Town 93 William Binns Dec 81
William Bland 27 Frances Snowden Feb 1817 74
John Keighley May 60 George Bradley Mar 84
John Driver Jun 58 William  Hurrack May 78
Benjamin Feather 4 Tabatha Hoyle Aug 48
John Cowgill Nov 40 Sarah Parker Jan 1818 73
Thomas Boys Jan 1788 12 Hannah Hutchingson 87
Christopher Smith Aug 32 Hannah Harrison Apr 62
John Wright Sep 18 John Crossley Aug 78
John Speight Jan 1789 78
Betty Hebden Mar 28 John Wright Aug 1819 58
Jacob Mitchell Oct 20 Thomas Stell Sept 28
Mary Holden Jan 1799 1 Eunice Preston Nov 69
John Lonsdale May 75 William Binns Nov 80
Thomas Wright 10 Judith Carradus Mar 1820 27
Joseph Barritt Jun 2 Betty Holmes Nov 1821 93
Mary Wright 45 John Wright Aug 1822 60
Annie Shackleton 19 George Bottomley Jan 1824 1
Hannah Pearson 7 Ann Hebden Jan 1825 39
Ann Holmes Nov 1 John Stell Jul 60
Jonathan Heaton Jan 1800 71 James Barwick Mar 1826 51
Bertha Thompson May 4 Sarah Shackleton Dec 55
Rachel Peel Jul 60 William Holmes Jan 1827 72
Thomas Driver Sep 74 Mary Rhoads Feb 42
Dinah Lawsom 87 John Ramsden Feb 38
John Starkie Oct 70 Easter Mitchell 1
Nanny Rawling Jan 1828 78
Joseph Crossley Mar 1801 83 Nanny Burton Jul 1829 60
Timothy Robertshaw Apr 43 Thomas Clapham May 1830 81
Robert Smith  Jun 72 Joesph Hanson Sept 2
Martha Naylor Aug 84 Martha Shackleton Jan 1831 60
Stephen Hall Dec 72 Martha Thompson Nov 22
Jane Smithson Feb 1803 77 John Warring Feb 1832 79
Joseph Crossley Apr 77 Gersham West Mar 1
Hannah Wood Jun 80 Joseph Smith May 1
Hannah Smith Dec 23 Thomas Foulds Jul 61
Joseph Holmes Mar 1804 3 Lydia Thompson June 1833 62
Dinah Hudson Apr 1 William Mitchell Dec 78
Thomas Teal Jul 24 Robert Naylor Dec 12
Thomas Keighley Dec 81 Charles Peel Feb 1834 72
Jonas Tatham Feb 1805 64 William Smith May 1
Mary Wood Apr 1806 8? Thomas Foster May 8
Anne Calverly Jun 1807 ? James Haggas Mar 1835 77
Abraham Greenwood Aug 70 Thomas Smith   Feb 1837  52
William Parker Jan 1808 77 William Smith Feb 2
Sally Parker Apr 3 John Middleton July 26
Mary Ambler Jan 1809 54 Mary Sugden Aug 1
Jonas Moor 29 James Greenwood Sept 40
Robert Pighills Feb 80 Jonas Binns   Nov 71
Nanny Stell 72 John Mitchell Dec 83
Sarah Tindle Apr 60 Jane Hey  Jan 1838 85
Robert Pickles Jul 76 William Lonsdale Jan 9
Joseph Moor 6 Debrah Holmes Feb 1
Joshua Tenent Feb 1810 44 John Holmes Apr 59
Nancy Hanson 41 Titus Rusher Nov 55
George Smith 27 Sarah Feather Jan 1839 42
John Robershaw Jun 12 Elizabeth Rhoads May 1840 16


The advertisement for workhouse master is from 1767

The Workhouse at Exley Head was a farm that had belonged to Tonson, and it was this property that that he had entrusted to fund education. It became the workhouse in 1739. In 1777 a parliamentary report on this establishment stated that it had forty inmates.
Condemned in 1842 as ‘a mere third-rate farmhouse of the seventeenth century’ and not replaced till 1860.
!857 would bring drama to the workhouse, Master John Sagar would go on trial for the murder of his wife, it would also come to light he had been having an affair with the daughter of one of the  workhouse guardian’s daughter who was 25 years his junior. By the use of Google you can read about the whole sordid afaire. Sagar had been master for around six years.

Joseph Waterhouse, Keighley Workhouse Master dies  in 1848. Hodgson tells us that Thomas Waterhouse, the draper & manufacturer, had in around 1834 a number of looms at the workhouse, situated at Exley Head, the master of which was his brother Joseph. Joseph had also been a weaver so was able to teach some of the inmates how to weave. If this  went any way to reducing the poor rate I have not been able to asertain. 

Parliamentary Papers, Volume 35 1842
To commence with the Keighley poor-house (for work-house it is not):— This building is a mere third-rate farm-house of the seventeenth century, rented by the Board of Guardians, as tenants-at-will, of a Keighley charity. Being placed on a hill and distant at least a mile from the town, it is not very easy of access, or (I suspect) very often visited by the Guardians as a board. The situation, however, is (if otherwise inconvenient) unexceptionable for airiness and salubrity. 
I enterd the house by a small kitchen, the master's, out of which opened a still smaller room, used as his bed-room, and also another kitchen, somewhat larger than the first, and appropriated for cooking purposes. It is also the dining-room for the women. pening immediately out of this cooking-kitchen was a low room of (I should say) 24 by 17 feet, which serves both as a dining-room for the men and boys, and as a sleepingroom, and contains six very dirty-looking beds, at present occupied by 14 individuals; viz., by an elderly man and his wife, in one double bed, by another elderly man in a single bed, and by 11 men and boys in the other four beds.  Besides the beds, there were diningtables, benches, half a dozen clothes-boxes, &c., lumbering about the room, and (when I was there) six or seven men, women and children sitting in it; each of these three rooms (whose collective length represents the whole length of the house) had a separate door into the yard. 
Passing up an indifferent staircase, I was introduced into a small bed-room, without ceiling, in which I found two elderly women sitting with the window shut, although the day was intensely hot. 
In this bed-room were four double beds, placed close together, and without any kind of partition or curtain intervening; two young and able-bodied married couples sleep in two of these beds; an elderly man and his wife in another; and the fourth is occupied by one of the women who was sitting there by her grown-up daughter, and by that daughter's two bastard children, four in all. 
Through this bed-room, there being no other way, I went into another unceiled bed-room of similar size with the men's dining-room down-stairs, viz., 24 by 17 feet; in it are nine beds, now tenanted by 24 women and children, and in one of the beds lay a young woman with her baby, who not only had been recently confined in that room (crowded as it is, and opening as it does out of another room, in which slept three men), but, being still ill, had to share her bed with another woman.  
(I begged that she might be moved as soon as possible; and that in the meantime she might at least have the bed to herself and child during this hot weather, and whilst in a room  of which all the three windows were fast, though in one of them a pane of glass was made to open.) 

"Ban- boxes, clothes-boxes, shoes, gowns, &c., were scattered about the room in every direction. There are two or three other smaller rooms, both up and down stairs, which are used as a lumber-room, baking-room, and rooms for the master's family. 
The yard, which was a mere remnant of a farm-yard, wretchedly paved, and about 13 yards square, had on one side a kind of a cottage, used as a wash-house, to which was attached a doorless privy; the latter not much in vogue, I apprehend, among the children, seeing that the dung-heap which fronted the entrance was in considerable request whilst I was at the poor-house. 
The chief abomination, however, was a wretched hovel immediately adjoining the dungheap. This hovel, of about 6 feet square and 6&1/2 feet high, yet with a small stove in it, though the window (if window it could be termed) was only a glazed slit in the wall, is used as a school-room; and, when I was there, contained the schoolmaster (an old pauper), an unlucky boy crying in the corner, and a girl attempting to read, the door being at the same time shut, in order to keep the boy in ; he and the other children being sadly addicted, as the matron said, to run out whenever they could—a circumstance not much to be wondered at. 
The two young married couples were out, the master and matron did not know where; but as of discipline, classification or industrial employment, the enforcement is absolutely impossible in Keighley poor-house, and as in point of fact it is an old parish poor-house of the lowest grade, and nothing else, the egress or ingress of the inmates upon any or no pretext is, relatively, an affair of very little consequence. 
The arrangements at the Bingley poor-house differ but little in their general aspect from those at Keighley; but the Bingley house has two disadvantages, from which the Keighley house is free:—first, it is in the midst of the town, and of circumscribed area; secondly it is part and parcel of a small gaol, there being no entrance to the gaol (which is  a building added to the poor-house) but through the poor-house yard, the doors to both being within a few feet of each other. 
The bed-rooms for males and females, at Bingley, are all intermixed; one room (though it can scarcely be called a room) is on the landing of the stairs, and just contains two beds  occupied by four women. 
There are also five other rooms up-stairs, opening into the same passage, and containing 38 individuals, in 18 beds; and, when I visited the house, men and women were loitering about the several rooms; some sitting on the beds doing nothing; others (women) making the beds at five o’clock in the afternoon; one or two smoking, &c. The only access to one of the women's bed-rooms (a kind of a large closet, in which slept eight women and children) was through one of the men's bed-rooms. Down-stairs there were two small bed-rooms, with worn-out lime floors; each of these small rooms contain two beds, appropriated to four people; and in one of them was an old woman evidently dying. 
(And that circumstance reminds me that in both poor-houses, but especially at Keighley, the masters intimated to me, that, when an inmate died, they were often compelled to let the corpse companion the living until it was buried.) 

To improve the wretched state of things, or rather to gain increased accommodation, the Guardians are now desirous of expending about 200l., viz. 100 l. on each poor-house; the Keighley house being charity and not parish property. 
I do not believe that treble the amount would make of such buildings even creditable poor-houses; but, as into work-houses they never can be converted, I trust that, before sanctioning any outlay, you will first require plans and measurements, as well of the proposed alterations as of the existing buildings, and will then instruct the Assistant Commissioner of the district to examine the Bingley and Keighley poor-houses, with these plans in his hand, and report thereon to your board. 
Moreover, I think that you should immediately direct the Guardians to reduce the number of inmates by at least ten in each poor-house, the crowded state of both places being now intolerable; and in any arrangements with reference to such houses that you may hereafter reluctantly confirm, I would beg to suggest, that you should insist on the women and children being placed in one house, and the men and boys with two or three women for the household work in the other. 
Would it not also be right at once to forbid their outraging decency, by allowing, not to say compelling, married couples (both young and old) to occupy promiscuously the same sleeping apartments? 
The total want of sick and lying-in rooms leads likewise to such painful results as I have described, viz., to a young woman's being confined in childbirth (as at in Keighley a dormitory common to 20 individuals besides herself, and to an old woman's lying (as at Bingley) apparently at the point of death in the innermost and closest of two very small and lime-floored ground rooms used for sitting as well as sleeping rooms for eight persons.   ............ Signed John Walshaw, A.C.

Gentlemen, Manchester, 23 April 1842. I Attended a meeting of the Board of Guardians of the Keighley Union on Wednesday the 13th instant, and I regret to have to report to your Board, that the proceedings of the Guardians are very unsatisfactory; in short, they are entirely at variance with the provisions of the law, and the directions of your Board. 
Relief in aid of wages is generally given, and payment of rents to an alarming extent; the workhouses are not subject either to classification or discipline; all the errors of the old Poor Law are followed; the paupers insolently claim relief as their right. I need scarcely add, that the rates are fast increasing. 
To show the mischievous extent to which the practice of paying rents has arrived, I submit the following notice, which was brought to the meeting of the Guardians by a pauper, and submitted on his behalf by one of the Relieving Officers:– 
“I hereby certify, that Edward Walton will be indebted to his landlord, the Rev. John Swire, one year's rent, 3. l(£) & 3s., on the 13th day of May next. “Cononley Woodside, (signed) John Perrott, April 12, 1842. - Agent.” 

The Board will observe, that the rent for which the application was made was not even due ; the certificate states that it would be due on the 13th May next. No effort has been made to procure work for the paupers, and relief has been given without any consideration as to the ruinous consequences of the “scale” system, which has here been introduced and acted upon as a settled mode of relief. 
There is no religious instruction for the poor by a minister of the Church of England. The education of the children is neglected, excepting what they receive from a pauper inmate ; the valuable remuneration for which, in many unions in the north of England, is “half an ounce of tobacco per week.” 
On asking the matron of the Keighley workhouse whether any and what minister attended the religious duties of the workhouse, she replied, “There is no Church minister, but we have Methodists, Independents, and what we call “Non-cons.’” 
Amongst the other extraordinary proceedings of the Guardians of the Keighley Union, may be named the encouragement given to the lawyers to create legal disputes. The clerk, Mr. Spencer, is himself a solicitor, but being paid an inadequate salary (70. l. per year), an inducement is offered to obtain additional remuneration by legal fees. The other attornies of the town were equally desirous of obtaining a share in the profits, and on the 6th May 1840, I find by the minute book of the Guardians an encouragement given to excite litigation by the following singular resolution: “Ordered, That the trial of settlement cases for Keighley be given to the attornies of the town in rotation.” 
This plan does not appear to have suited the legal gentlemen, and doubtless the most profitable appeals may have been selected to take place at certain periods. An alteration was therefore desired, and, accordingly, 18 months afterwards, namely, on the 13th October 1841, the Guardians further assisted the views of the attornies by the following resolution:— 
“The order of the 6th May 1840 having been attended by some inconvenience,—Ordered, that the attornies be so employed annually, after the present sessions.” With such support from the Guardians, it is not to be wondered at that unfortunate Keighley is suffering severely from legal disputes. 

One of the Keighley Guardians complained that the lawyers' bills for that town, the last year, would not be much less than 500 l. 
On complaining of the deviation from the provisions of the law, the Guardians stated, that it arose from the interference of the Magistrates; and I was surprised to find that an opinion prevailed amongst the Guardians, that their proceedings in granting relief were subject to the control of the Magistrates; and a case was named, in which, where the Guardians had granted 9s. per week to an able-bodied man and his family, the Magistrates had interfered, and obtained a further relief of clogs, &c. The Guardians even stated that the Magistrates had fixed the “scale” by which they were to be guided in granting relief to ablebodied paupers. 
The Relieving Officer also stated that he had been repeatedly summoned to show why he had refused relief in certain cases. 
Two of the Magistrates afterwards attended the meeting of the Guardians, Mr. Ellis and Mr. Greenwood, to whom I stated the complaints that had been made. It was admitted that summons might have been sent by the clerk to the Magistrates to the Relieving Officer, but the Magistrates stated that they had always told the Relieving Officer that the relief rested with the Board of Guardians. I reminded them that their influence as Magistrates would naturally cause the Relieving Officers to obey their suggestions, and that in a district where the provisions of the law are so little understood by the Guardians, their interference as Magistrates would create great mischief.  
The Keighley Union affords a forcible illustration of the impossibility of any union or parish bring depended upon to carry out the provisions of the Poor Law, without a powerful control. 
The Report of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the old system of Poor Law management has been sent to every union formed under your Board. The ruinous results of such a system have been repeatedly pointed out; the mischievous effects of the powers given to the Magistrates under the old system of relief have all been printed and widely circulated in every union placed by your Board under the provisions of the Poor Law Amendment Act; no man can plead ignorance of them, and yet the Guardians of the Keighley Union, without, as I verily believe, the least intention of doing wrong, have introduced all the worst features of the old Poor Law, under the belief that they were still under the control of the Magistrates, to whose directions they were bound to submit. 
I have stated to the Guardians that I should report to the Commissioners the unsatisfactory state in which I had found the Keighley Union, and that they must expect that your Board would take steps to check the ruinous system into which they have brought themselves. 

Whether your Board will consider it desirable, on the eve of the new Poor Law Bill being brought under the consideration of the Legislature, to issue an order to prohibit the payment of rents, and to require some labour test for relief granted, will remain for the consideration of the Commissioners. 
Without proper workhouse accommodation I am afraid that other restraints upon the Guardians would be but of little avail. As the Auditors are now elected, their services in many unions are but of little use, and no beneficial check can be expected through them. I have repeatedly ventured to state to your Board, and all recent experience has confirmed the opinion I have before expressed, that even as a precautionary measure, in the manufacturing districts, where the poor-rates, until recently, have been comparatively light, the provisions of the new Poor Law are loudly called for; and that unless the Poor Law Commissioners are empowered by the Legislature to enforce the provision for proper workhouse accommodation to aid the restraint upon relief to able-bodied paupers, there is nothing to prevent the pressure of the poor-rates in the manufacturing districts from becoming ten times more ruinous in their consequences, and more dangerous to the public welfare, than those which were unhappily witnessed in the agricultural districts of the south of England. I have, &c. ..........Signed Chas Mott.

The new Union Workhouse was erected in 1858 

Bill o' th' Hoylus End applies for the post of Workhouse Master.
When advertisements were out for a master at the Workhouse, I sent in an application along with thirty-nine others. Mr J. W. Laycock was the chairman of the Board. He objected to my application being read, but Mr T. Middlebrook and other members challenged his view, and said the application must be read. It was somewhat as follows:-"Gentlemen of the Board of Guardians.-In applying for the situation of Workhouse master I can assure you that I feel competent for the situation, seeing that I have had much to do with all classes and kinds of people in my travels-both high and low, rich and poor. I know, gentlemen, that you could not do better than engage me, as I have ben so used to living on low commons that I could keep the paupers at 1s 3d per head, whereas you boast about keeping them at 2s 8d or 2s 9d per head. You sit down to a sumptuous dinner, with salmon, &c., every Board day, Mr Leach informs me, for which you pay 1s per head. Now, I think I could provide you with a sumptuous dinner at 3d per head, and I should want that allowance for a little tobacco. It is not, I can assure you, gentlemen, a question of wages, but one of sheer honour that prompts me to apply for the situation of master of the Keighley Workhouse. If this suits your notice, you can reply by return of post.-Your humble servant, Bill o' th' Hoylus End." But I was not appointed; and it is perhaps unnecessary to say that I did not intend to be appointed. My application caused much amusement and stir in the town.

We know from the census that Greenwood Midgley had been a stone mason up to and including 1851, also 1859 when daughter Mary Grace is baptised & his address is Exley Head.
1861, 1871 & 1881 he is Master of the Workhouse, he died 25th Sept 1881.



Keighley people in Workhouses in other towns:
Clitheroe 1881
Anthony RILEY
Warper (Fht)

Woollen Sorter   


Keighley Union Workhouse & Infirmary Holycroft, & Fell Lane, Keighley 1891 census  genuki.org.uk


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